When Auto-Tweeting Fails

I’m a huge fan of the Tour de France; love to know what’s happening over there as it’s happening. Downside of “over there” though is that most of the happening happens while I’m at work “over here.” So I was looking forward to this year’s race, sure that Twitter would come to my rescue.

And it did. Sort of. Yes, the official Tour de France site did include a “live as-it-happens” Twitter feed this year (http://twitter.com/tdf_updates), and yes, to some extent that feed feeds my hunger, with “turn-by-turn” news from the peloton. But here’s the fail: the tweets turn out to be auto-generated from the headlines of their real-time news on the actual site. Nothing wrong with that in itself; smart use of the technology. However, many of the most interesting headlines are teasers for mini-articles (“List of all crashed riders in 2nd stage”), but the tweeted version contains¬†no link to the article.

This is fail on two levels:

  1. The user (me) obviously misses out on the information, making the tweet useless.
  2. The site loses the opportunity to draw me to their site. Huge miss for them; the tweet alone does nothing for their visitor count or advertising revnue; does nothing to draw me to their other content.

Moral: Auto-tweeting headlines from your blog or site is fine, but always include the link!

When Auto-Tweeting Fails by

Mark is Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. Mark helps businesses build strategies to increase brand influence and attract natural links and social signals. He has a special reputation as an expert on Google+ and Google Authorship. A former teacher, Mark has worked directly in Internet marketing since 2005, but has been involved in social media and online community formation since the mid 1990s. When not helping Virante clients improve their online presence, Mark participates in competitive storytelling, plays with a Dixieland street band, and (surprise) spends more time on the web.

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